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1.  Expression of Panza, an α2-Macroglobulin, in a Restricted Dorsal Domain of the Primitive Gut in Xenopus laevis 
α2-macroglobulin is a major serum protein with diverse functions, including inhibition of protease activity and binding of growth factors, cytokines, and disease factors. We have cloned and characterized Panza, a new Xenopus laevis α2-macroglobulin. Panza has 56–60% amino acid similarity with previously identified Xenopus, mouse, rat and human α2-macroglobulins, indicating that Panza is a new member of the α2-macroglobulin family. Panza mRNA is first detected at the beginning of neurulation in the dorsal endoderm lining the primitive gut (archenteron roof). At the completion of neurulation and continuing through the late tadpole stage, Panza is restricted to a dorsal domain of the gut endoderm adjacent to the notochord and extending along the entire anterior-posterior axis. With outgrowth of the tailbud, Panza expression persists in the chordaneural hinge at the posterior end of the differentiating notochord and extends into the floor plate of the posterior neural tube. As gut coiling commences, Panza expression is initiated in the liver, and the dorsal domain of Panza expression becomes limited to the midgut and hindgut. With further gut coiling, strong Panza expression persists in the liver, but is lost from other regions of the gut. The expression of Panza in endodermal cells adjacent to the notochord points to a potential role for Panza in signal modulation and/or morphogenesis of the primitive gut.
PMCID: PMC1351133  PMID: 16275122
Xenopus laevis; α2-macroglobulin; endoderm; gut; digestive tract; liver

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